Letter to School About a Child's Possible Autism
As a parent, you are likely to witness your child’s growth and development at first hand, perhaps closer than anyone else. Parents are keen to see their children develop healthily, at the expected rate and in expected ways and are especially vigilant as a result. It is important to know that children with autism develop differently from those without. Autism is a disorder of neural development, involving impaired social interaction and communication. Many parents of autistic children notice signs and symptoms early on in their child’s life, within the first three years. Sometimes, however, these signs go unnoticed. Some autistic children reach school age before their disorder is detected.
If your child experiences difficulty when it comes to communication and social interaction, you may be concerned that they have autism. So, what can parents look out for?
The following signs are associated with autism:
- Speech skills below the level expected for that age
- Child stops using words they previously knew
- Unusual speech patterns, including incessant repetition
- A high pitched or flat pitched voice
- Child doesn’t point at objects
- Child has difficulty expressing what they need or want
- Lack of eye contact
- Preference for playing alone
- Dislike of cuddles or physical affection
- Uninterested in others
- Frequent and lengthy temper tantrums
- Repetition of certain actions
- Unusual interests e.g.. stacking or lining up objects
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in their routine
- Sensitivity to sounds, tastes, textures and appearances
- Poor motor skills
- Unusual vision or hearing
- Habit of walking on tip toes
If you realise that your child displays, or displayed at a younger age, several of these signs, be sure to book an appointment with their doctor. The doctor should be the first port of call when it comes to investigating a child’s possible autism. It is also important, however, to get in touch with your child’s school. Remember that school teachers see your child in the classroom on a daily basis, noting their behaviours, their interaction with others and the ways in which they communicate. As such, your child’s teacher may be able to offer a useful additional perspective on your child’s development.
Below is an example of a letter that could be sent to a teacher about a child’s potential autism.
Example LetterThe School House
England 5 February 2008 Dear Miss GreenRecently, I’ve been observing and thinking about Richard’s social interaction and communication and believe that he may have autism.
As you know, Richard has trouble interacting with others and enjoys being and playing alone. I have also noticed that he rarely makes eye contact and reacts strongly to loud noises. I am aware that all of these things are signs of autism and am keen to investigate the matter further.
I have booked a doctor’s appointment for next week but wanted to get in touch with you first. I’m keen to hear your observations and views. As Richard’s teacher, have you noticed any possible signs of autism?
I look forward to hearing from you about this. You can contact me, Pat, on 0131 2343 9049 or 0723422342, or email me at email@example.com, or via the address above.
With thanks for your time and best wishes
Pat Dawes, mother of Richard Dawes, 2a